What’s Happening with the Cubs?
The Cubs are a struggling team this season, but, at the end of the day, they’re still a championship team. They were swept by the New York Yankees last week in a much anticipated three-game series. The sweep has raised the question, are the Cubs really even that good?
Although the Cubs are struggling hardcore, yes, they are still a good team. The cause of the meltdown that has waved over the team seems to be in the arms of their pitcher’s.
Let’s take about Brett Anderson, who is in his first year pitching with the Cubs. He had the start heard around the world against the Yankees, giving up five runs in the first inning of game two. His current ERA stands at 8.18 – you don’t have to be a fan of baseball to realize how bad that is. He eventually was taken out of the game, but not before the damage had been done. The Cubs were unable to bounce back from the abnormal turn events, falling 11-6.
Now, let’s take a look at game one of the series between the Yankees. The Cubs were holding onto a 2-0 lead over New York going into the ninth inning. Hector Rondon entered the game and quickly got two outs for Chicago. However, needing just one strike on New York Yankee’s outfielder Brett Gardner, Rondon gave up a backbreaking three-run home run – and the ball game.
It’s hard to really pinpoint the Cubs issues thus far in the season, but I think pitching is certainly a good place to start, if any.
As far as relievers go, when Pedro Strop and/or Hector Rondon enter the ballgame, I can’t help but feel a little nervous. They seem to be rather hit and miss, which reminds me of a certain former Cub player – Aroldis Chapman.
So, let’s talk about Champan. Many argued it was wrong to give up the now Yankee player, but I’ll quietly disagree. I’ll tell you why with just two words. Wade Davis. He’s got the experience and he can be there to help inexperienced pitchers, such as Carl Edwards Jr. Davis is also an extremely underrated player. He threw a perfect inning with three strikeouts in last Sunday’s 18-inning loss.
Chapman entered the ninth inning for the Yankees, looking to earn a save as his team was ahead 4-1. He gave up multiple hits and would ultimately hit Anthony Rizzo in the forearm with bases loaded to walk the tying run across the plate. Yes, the Yankees still won in 18 innings, but it isn’t the first time Chapman has given up a save in dramatic fashion.
I think Chapman had to go. Yes, he won a World Series with the Cubs, and the team will be forever grateful. Ultimately, though, I think there’s too much bad blood between him and the Cubs in general. If you don’t know what I’m referring too, take a look at when Chapman pitched for the Reds and the time him and Rizzo had an altercation – to say the least.
If you ask me if I’m worried about the Cubs so far, I’d say not yet. They are still in third in their competitive division and only behind a few games, even while struggling. It’s hard to imagine a team with so much talent couldn’t pull it together in the next few weeks or at the end of the season. But will it be too late? As a lifelong Cubs fan, all one can do is wait and see.
National League Central Standings
Katrina Branson is a sports writer at The Shelbyville News. Her weekly column “Cubs Corner” will appear once a week on Eastside Sports. Follow her on Twitter @k_b527.